Posts Tagged ‘sponsor’

Your Gifts Saved Jacob’s Life

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

A matching grant doubles your extra gift till December 31.

Dear Friend of the Children,

This is Jacob. You saved his life.

This is Jacob. You saved his life.

God continues to bless “His Kids” through your kind and generous support.

Before I share Jacob’s story and a holiday update, I’m excited to tell you that some of our dedicated family members have offered a special matching challenge.

From now until December 31, your gift can be doubled to provide even more of a blessing for the children. Please take advantage of this opportunity, and thank you for all you continue to do for the children. YOU are truly a blessing!

This challenge is also to give a little extra — a bit more than you would otherwise give. Please mark this extra gift as “Matching Challenge.” Thank you so much!

I can’t overemphasize or even dramatize the impact you have on the children. When I visit the ICC children’s villages, I see first-hand the transformations that are taking place in the lives of the children. Your support makes these transformations possible.

Smiles on little faces that were once cloudy with fear and suspicion.

Confidence to interact appropriately with others rather than hide in the shadows.

Of course, there’s more than just emotional transformations. Physical transformations are taking place as the children grow healthy and strong from good nutrition, exercise, and medical care.

There are mental transformations, too, as our campus schools provide stimulating learning experiences for the children.

Thank you for supporting the life-transforming ministry on behalf of ICC children.

Thank you for supporting the life-transforming ministry on behalf of ICC children.

Yet the best of all transformations take place when an ICC child is “born again.” I recently received word that two of our teenage girls in Romania made a public demonstration of their commitment to God by being baptized.

This thrills my heart! They were little children when they came to us. And through the years, your support enabled us to provide the nurturing care they needed. And now that they are old enough, they are also wise enough to decide to follow Jesus as their Savior.

This Christmas I praise God for the decision of these girls and others within our ICC family who have been baptized and are waiting and watching for the coming of Jesus — just as wise men of long ago did!

Your support enabled us to grow the Las Palmas herd to over 100 cows!

Your support enabled us to grow the Las Palmas herd to over 100 cows!

This year, your support has enabled us to expand efforts to develop and strengthen sustaining industries. I’m pleased to let you know that “Milky’s Challenge” has been a success. This campaign was developed to help raise funds for the Las Palmas Dairy. Through the support of many, the dairy herd has grown to over 100 head of cows!

We’ve been contacted by the Rica Group, a large food company in the Dominican Republic. They process milk among other products. Not only will they purchase Las Palmas milk, but they will also help our dairy industry enabling you to provide even more support for the children. We see God’s potential leading in this endeavor!

The pepper farm project at the El Oasis Children’s Village continues to gain momentum as it provides funds to help operate the El Oasis project for children

The pepper farm project at the El Oasis Children’s Village continues to gain momentum as it provides funds to help operate the El Oasis project for children

In Mexico, we are completing the harvest of Jalapeño peppers. This has been another excellent year for this crop. The production remained strong even though the market price was lower than anticipated.

At the end of the season, for the second year in a row, we saw God intervene when a killing frost crept over the valley where the El Oasis campus is located. All the other farmers in the valley except our close neighbor lost their crop, but God saved ours so we could harvest more peppers.

The growth and potential of this industry can be seen in the fact that for the first time, an ICC project was able to send support to another project! Additional agri-businesses are being explored at other ICC projects. Thank you for the support you give that enables us to help these projects become more self-sustaining.

Your support of ICC children in the past has enabled them to “pay your support forward” and bless their younger “siblings.” Many of our ICC children return as adults to the same children’s village in which they grew up. They help to share in the care of the children.

Of particular note are two of our former children who for the past couple of years have served as business manager and director of children’s services for the Sweet Home Children’s Village in India.

Because our director there had a medical emergency that required treatment in the US, Udai, our business manager, was asked to take on the management role in the director’s absence.

Both Udai and Nirmala have taken their work very seriously and have done an excellent job of managing the operations of the children’s village. It’s wonderful to see dedicated young people giving back in gratitude for what they were given!

Your support enables ICC children to learn in an environment appropriate for their ability and needs.

Your support enables ICC children to learn in an environment appropriate for their ability and needs.

My parents, Ken and Alcyon Fleck, had no way of imagining how the work of ICC would grow and develop through the years.

Back in the late ’70s, they set out to help a few orphan children in Guatemala. Over the past four decades, the number of children who call or who have called

ICC home and family have grown to well over 4,000! That’s a big family of children, many of whom are now raising families of their own!

In October I had the privilege of attending the 40-year anniversary celebration of the opening of the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

It was thrilling to spend several days of celebrations at Los Pinos. There were many of our kids, who are independent now, who came with their families. Also, there were former parents, teachers, and administration. What a joy to listen to the stories of how God has led through the years.

Manuel (right) and his family attended the 40th anniversary celebration at the Los Pinos Children’s Village. His life story was depicted in a video created by the current staff and children.

Manuel (right) and his family attended the 40th-anniversary celebration at the Los Pinos Children’s Village. His life story was depicted in a video created by the current staff and children.

The kids and staff put together a video reenacting the story of Manuel, one of the first-generation kids, who is now a pastor and was there with his family.

We were all so moved to tears by his story and how God brought him to Los Pinos after his parents were killed by rebel soldiers; how he grew to know Jesus and studied to become a pastor.

Manual, with tears, got up and said this was the best video he had ever seen. He brought all the “actors” to the platform and personally thanked them for doing the video.

Afterwards, as we stood around and talked about this with Manuel and others, Sharon commented, with emotion choking her voice, “That story was so real that we saw today, and it was the reality that started ICC 40 years ago — a reality that so many of these kids went through who are adults today. Now, the situation in Guatemala is different — not the civil war that existed back then, but the poverty and sinfulness that still causes so much suffering with the children.”

But then she paused and said, “Now we are seeing that same reality being faced and lived out in the lives of many little children today in other countries such as in Congo where we recently took in 59 little children five years old and under! Those precious little ones just recently experienced this same reality of war and unimaginable violence at such a young and vulnerable age. God help us to find the means to help them!”

Yes, this year we saw the ICC family of children grow by 59 in an instant. We were challenged by the urgent call from the D.R. Congo that these newly-orphaned children needed our immediate intervention.

We counted on your support to provide for the children and stepped out in faith believing that God would move upon the hearts of our ICC family members to include these children, too, at the “ICC family table.” And yes, you came through with the support that was needed to provide for the initial care of the children. On behalf of these children, thank you very much!

“As you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40

“As you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40

We’ve been challenged with creating the profiles of the children whose identities and background information are difficult to track since their parents were massacred and the children are so very young.

But I have good news! We are now finally able to assign sponsors to at least some of these new children! This will mean so much to them and aid in their transformations. Would You like to sponsor one of these special little kids?

Speaking yet again of transformations, I want to include the following incident in this letter.

Many of you know our ICC sponsorship supervisor, Alanna Jones. She recently shared the following account of what happened to her when she received the picture of Jacob, who had arrived at the Congo Patmos Children’s Village in 2017.

You must realize that Alanna has served the children of ICC for 11 years. During that time, she has seen many of the pictures of the new children who arrive at “ICC’s front door.” But Jacob’s picture touched her deeply. Here’s how she described it:

Jacob arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village in 2017. He was very close to death. Your gifts saved and transformed his life.

Jacob arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village in 2017. He was very close to death. Your gifts saved and transformed his life.

“I felt my heart clutch when I saw Jacob’s picture. He appeared to me to be very near death, and he was so skinny.

His little legs looked like bones with a thin layer of skin pulled tight. He looked like he would not be able to even lift his head a little bit. And the blank look in his eyes was haunting — frightening.

“I have a 2-year-old grandson, and I started to imagine how horrible it would be if he were suddenly on his own with no way to eat or care for himself. I had to stop myself from these thoughts because it was terrifying.

Jacob was someone’s baby at one point. How would they feel if they knew how badly he was doing? Their precious tiny boy. I did not assign any sponsors to him because I was afraid that he was not going to make it. I didn’t want a sponsor to know that kind of heartache if he did pass.

Jacob’s transformation is a testament to what you can do by providing nurturing care and love through your gifts.

Jacob’s transformation is a testament to what you can do by providing nurturing care and love through your gifts.

“When the latest set of pictures arrived on my desk recently, I saw his name on the label on the back of his picture before I saw his face. I think I may have cheered out loud. I know I did in my head. OH! YAY! Jacob!

“He looks so healthy now. He has put on some weight, has cute round cheeks and a darling smile. I was so excited and impressed by his improvement that I printed his first picture and the newest picture and kept them on my desk for a few weeks. I just kept looking at them trying to believe it was actually the same sweet boy.

“I always feel very honored to be able to work at ICC, to have the privilege of seeing the children and reading their stories of how they came to be in our care and to be a small part of helping them get the support they need. I especially felt this honor and happiness when Jacob’s new picture arrived.

“Sponsors get to know a few children — but I get to see all of them. That to me is a privilege. I am thankful that Alcyon responded to the call so many years ago and that ICC is still operating and saving children’s lives.”

You make transformations like this possible! And now, through the end of the year, your EXTRA gift of love and support can be doubled — literally transformed — to be twice the blessing for children like Jacob.

That’s right! Because there are children like Jacob who desperately need the nurturing care that ICC provides, some of our faithful supporters have stepped forward to challenge you to match their gifts. You can now double any special EXTRA donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $100,000 is reached. Please mark your gift, “Matching Challenge.”

The reality is that this Christmas we depend upon the generosity of ICC family members to change the reality for all these children. Close to a quarter of the funds needed to support ICC’s mission for children is given in December. If that doesn’t happen, how will we provide a place of healing and transformation for children like Jacob? And there are so many more children who need the nurturing care in which ICC specializes. At this time of year, budgets are stretched taking care of children who have already found their place within the ICC family.

So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope!

The world has little use for orphan children. After all, what can they contribute? I believe there is a real counterpoint that can be said for the mission of ICC. Once an orphan child receives the nurturing care needed, he or she has such great capacity to contribute and to pay forward the support given. That transformation is what makes this ministry worthwhile!

And YOUR support tells the children…

“I care for you. I believe in you. I want to help you!”

Please — Use This Link — to make your gift today.

On behalf of ICC’s worldwide family of children, caregivers and support staff, thank-you for the blessing you are this Christmas!

In His Service,

 

 

Rick Fleck
President

P.S. To take advantage of year-end-tax benefits, please respond by December 31. And to take part in the matching challenge, please respond as quickly as possible! Thank you!

Picking More Than A Peck Of Peppers

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Update from the El Oasis jalapeño farm

Thanks to the generous support of ICC family members we exceeded the matching grant offer to expand the Jalapeño crop at the El Oasis Children’s Village in Mexico. This has provided over $100,000 of capital for this important Agribusiness.

We are excited to announce that the harvest of Jalapeño peppers has begun. Not only has your support enabled us to triple the size of the field under cultivation this year, we’re also seeking to increase profitability by separating the peppers into various sizes and categories.

Better quality peppers can be sold for a higher price. To help with this, we’ve been able to borrow a conveyor belt which you can see in the picture below and in this video.

If all goes as planned, there will be several pickings during harvest season. One picking takes several days to complete.

The first picking should yield between 65–75 tons of peppers. With God’s blessing and good weather, the yield this season could be up to 1,000 tons! That’s a lot of peppers — and a huge means of support for the El Oasis project.

Please join with us in praying for this pepper project. And thank you for your ongoing support in helping us develop sustaining industries which will bless the children for years to come!

The Impact Of Your Support

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

An interview with Huridis Fortuna, one of ICC’s grown children

} By Makala James

Huridis’ life changed forever when he came to live at Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

He flourished, earned his degree in Theology, married the love of his life, Hannah, and is now serving in ministry and sharing the Gospel

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Huridis about his experience growing up as an ICC kid.

A special thank you to Huridis for sharing his story about his experience at Las Palmas! God will continue to use Huridis in wonderful ways, just as He is working in the lives of all ICC children. Makala James [left] sits with Huridis Fortuna [right] in Keen, Texas. Makala had the opportunity to speak with Huridis about his life before, and while, Huridis was growing up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Makala James [left] sits with Huridis Fortuna [right] in Keen, Texas. Makala had the opportunity to speak with Huridis about his life before, and while, Huridis was growing up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Did you have a difficult childhood before coming to the Las Palmas Children’s Village?

I had a rough childhood. There is an illustration that I use in my sermons.

How do you purify gold? It’s with fire. It’s a hard and long process, but in the end what you get is fine, pure gold. Whatever happened in my life as a child, I see as a blessing. God used that to make me the person I am today.

What do you remember of your first day at Las Palmas?

My first day at the orphanage, I arrived with a little backpack, a pair of pants, a pair of socks, and a shirt. That’s all I brought because I had nothing else.

The director said, “Where are your clothes?” She was surprised that I didn’t have anything. After meeting my teacher and classmates, we went to the warehouse and got a bunch of clothes and shoes. I got a pillow that is kind of like a race car, and I still keep that with me today.

Then, I heard that everyone at the church and village had been praying for me. They did not know me, but everyone was praying for me to get there. I was amazed!

How did the children’s village affect your spiritual life?

Certainly, it made a big impact on my life. I still remember how, to wake us up, the dad of the house would play Christian music in the living room. That would be the time for us to gather around the table for worship.

We would sing songs, study the bible, pray, and have worship together as a family. That helped me have a deeper relationship with Jesus. Not only that, but we were also encouraged to have our own personal time reading the bible and praying.

After you finished worship, what was a typical day like?

On a typical day in high school, which was the best time, we would wake up in the morning to have worship together. Then we would do our chores, such as cleaning the bathroom or bedroom or yard… Whatever was assigned to us.

Afterwards, we would get ready for school and eat breakfast. Breakfast might be yucca with cheese or plantains and eggs, maybe cereal, fruit, and milk.

We attended school, and then came home around lunch time. After an hour break for lunch, then we had two hours of work, required of everybody.

After work I would either do homework or go to music school to practice the cello. In the evening, we had dinner and evening worship as a family.

Did you always stay in the same family?

I stayed with the same family for my whole time at the orphanage until I turned 18. That year we separated from the younger children, but still remained in the same family.

I helped the younger kids with their homework and chores at home. We moved to a bigger house because the house we were living in was kind of small. It was the same family all the time.

Tell me about an ICC sibling to whom you still feel close?

Alexandra! When I first arrived at the orphanage we used to fight and argue. Now we are really good friends. She came to my wedding two years ago when I got married. She’s coming to visit again, and we keep in touch.

How does having an advanced education impact your life?

It certainly makes a difference when you get an education. Seeing it from a professional point of view, we live in a competitive world.

If you have no education, then you are behind. It’s really hard for you to find a job and survive.

Because of my education, I am able to serve and support ICC, to give back to the place that helped me to become who I am.

Share a bit about when you felt called to ministry?

When I look back to my childhood and to what I’ve been through in my life, how God rescued me from what I could have been, it’s like a calling. It’s like God telling me, “I want you for a special mission.”

That helps me to understand that I’ve been called for something special. Once I was at [Las Palmas], I kept growing in my faith and in my relationship with Jesus. I participated in church and everybody used to call me pastorcito, which means little pastor.

I didn’t want to be pastor, because, honestly, I was afraid! But I grew up and felt called in many ways. I realized, God can use my life and story.

How did your life change when you were accepted into the ICC family?

It was a big change. I got my education and things that I needed right there. For me, it was all I ever wanted. It was my family.

I understand that you and your wife sponsor a child. Can you tell me about that?

We do! Actually, we’re in the process of getting a second one. We visited our sponsorship child. He was really happy when we went to see him. When we got home, we wrote a letter and sent a photo to him of all of us.

When you were a child, did it matter when sponsors wrote you or sent you pictures?

It’s very important to write to the children. I felt special when a sponsor wrote me. I felt I was connecting with my sponsor. It was easier to reply to that person, especially when they’d sent me pictures and asked me questions.

How do the ICC children who are now adults relate to the children’s village?

We have a group of generation that comes together like an alumni association, and there’s a president. We gather money and donations to take to the children’s village. We come together at Christmas, and put on a Christmas program. Recently, we raised funds for school shoes.

Why is it important to do these things for the kids?

I went there and I received help. Once I grew up, I realized how important it was that someone helped me, that someone raised money for me to eat and go to school. It’s heart touching to do the same for those children who are also in need.

 

 

Latest News About New Kids At Patmos

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Current info about newly arrived orphans in DR Congo

You take the Bible mandate to provide for orphan children seriously.

Though you may not be able to personally tend to the 59 newly-arrived orphans in the DR Congo, your prayers and financial gifts are vital. They help provide for the daily needs of the children.

As reported last month, the rescue mission for the kids was successful. The process of restoration continues. Your gifts are what make it possible for the Patmos staff to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus for these children.

The documentation needed to assign sponsors for these children will take time to receive.

However, if you would like to sponsor one of these children, please contact Alanna at 800–422–7729. She’ll let you know when you’ll be able to sponsor these children.

Thank you for your prayers in behalf of these children and their caregivers.

A Personal Message

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

From Doug Congleton

It was like an electric charge that went from my fingers into my very soul. It was so simple, yet it was one of the most amazing things that has happened to me since joining God’s service for His kids at ICC. Let me tell you how it happened.

I was on the campus at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in The Dominican Republic working with our new industries planning team. Things were going really well, and I was pleased with the work that had been done.

We were working on new ideas and the implementation of the things we had decided to get going previously. As always, we stopped during the Sabbath hours to take time to rest and contemplate the good things God is doing in the children’s lives.

Sabbath morning I went to the on-campus church. At the end of the service I went outside and started walking down the road back to where I was staying on the campus.

As I walked I heard footsteps running up behind me, and then I felt little fingers reach out and take hold of my hand without ever saying a word.

That may sound simple to you, but in that moment, those little fingers touching mine sent what felt like an electrical current into my very being.

This little girl who I had never even been introduced to, ran up and just wanted to share her heart with me in taking my hand and walking with me those few hundred yards.

So, we walked together hand-in-hand down that little roadway until she let go in order to run off to her home to have lunch with her family.

After running a short distance, she stopped, turned back and smiled a huge smile at me as if to say, “Thank you for loving me. It feels so good!” I know my heart felt the same way!

In those brief moments I thought of our many family members of donors at ICC who give so unselfishly and faithfully. God’s people who care enough to make a commitment to providing for these little children each day.

In a very real sense, these are the people that little hand was reaching out to. That electrical charge is something that was meant for each one of you to feel for yourselves.

It’s a moment where time stands still, and you know that what you are doing is the very thing that Jesus wants from you. I totally understand now what was on the heart of Jesus when He told us in His word to “Take care of the widows and orphans.” James 1:27.

It is a responsibility that He left to each one of us to take care of these children until He comes again. It is something that I will always remember for the rest of my life.

These special children need you so much. It is only possible with your help for ICC to take loving care of these children. This is the moment when I believe that Jesus is looking to see who will stand for what is right for His children.

He is wanting to see who it is that will take the hands of these precious children and lead them to His kingdom.

You Made Christmas 2018 Memorable for His Kids

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” Isaiah 9:6

In a very real sense, the ICC family has been given very special children. We believe that Jesus entrusts these children to us so we can be His guardians to care for them and teach them about Him.

And there’s no better time to do that than at Christmas. Christmas is one of the most special occasions at ICC children’s villages around the world. Your contributions, especially to the gift fund, help to make this a memorable time for all the children.

Christmas 2018 at the Hogar Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Christmas 2018 at the Hogar Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador.

These pictures sent from Guatemala and El Salvador show some of the decorations and programing from their special celebrations during the recent holiday.

Christmas 2018 at the Las Palmas Children’s in Guatemala.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Thanks to your support, the children had a wonderful time of family togetherness, sharing, gift giving and most importantly, remembering Jesus, God’s most precious gift.

Thank you for helping to make these celebrations possible.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Banana Baby Boy

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
Christmas-Miracle Child Rescued Just in Time!
“Baby” was rescued on Christmas. It was a miracle he survived. Your support is needed now to help him thrive!

“Baby” was rescued on Christmas. It was a miracle he survived. Your support is needed now to help him thrive!

If you’ve been a part of the ICC family for several years you are likely aware of the many tragedies that happen in the DR Congo that causing children to be orphaned.

Some of the reasons include natural disasters, acts of war, and limited access to proper medical care for even common ailments.

In most cases, when a child comes to the ICC Patmos Children’s Village, the cause of the child being orphaned is known. But sometimes, as in the case of the following story, we may never know.

On the night of Christmas Eve, rain poured heavily upon an banana plantation on Idjwi Island in the Congo. Despite the storm, a quiet filled the air, as a baby boy lay abandoned among the bananas.

Fisherman discovered the child at 5:30 a.m. He could not even cry. Shaking with tremors because of the cold, the baby labored to breathe.

The fishermen rushed to warn the village chief. They had to find out who had abandoned this child! The village chief immediately ordered that the child be taken to the Bugarula Idjwi Baptist Hospital for urgent care.

Meanwhile, the local radio station sent out a broadcast to assist in the search for whoever abandoned the child, and to alert any interested family of the baby’s whereabouts. Sadly, no one came forward.

Fortunately, your support has helps to provide a haven of refuge for orphaned and abandoned children in Congo. And when no family member stepped forward to take the child home, we stepped in and welcomed him into the ICC family.

This Christmas-miracle child has no name and is simply called “Baby.” Baby is now in the care of a loving family at Patmos Children’s Village. Patmos is the largest children’s project operated by ICC. There are so many children in need. Yet, when God intervenes and rescues a child from death, who are we to turn that child away?

Abandoned and left to die of starvation or exposure, Baby certainly fits the description of “the least of these” for whom Jesus asked us to provide care.

Now, your support is needed to continue Baby’s care. You can help Baby through a monthly sponsorship or through a one-time gift of love.

After being abandoned into the bananas, Baby received a second chance at life. Now, he’s entrusted into the care of ICC, the care of his house parents, and he’s entrusted into your care.

Please keep this child, and all of God’s children, in your prayers. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Baby!

Give A Child A New Home

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

December 1, 2018

Dear Friend,

You can give a child a place to belong. A gift sent by December 31 will be doubled through a matching grant

Everyone wants to feel that they belong — that they have a special place where they fit in, where they are loved and accepted for who they are.

This is especially true at Christmas. Our hearts go out to those who must spend the holiday alone. It just doesn’t seem right.

This need for belongingness makes the plight of orphan children so desperate. An orphan child is set adrift on the stormy sea of life with

no sail, no rudder, no anchor.

The orphan child needs help from outside. But will that help come? And will that help come from you?

During the last 40 years, many of you have joined ICC in providing children like Sarita (see story on second page) and thousands of other children like her with not only the basics of life, like food and shelter, but, just as important, we have been providing orphan children with “a place to belong!”

Of all the important elements of effective orphan care, this is one of the most important. And it is making a difference in the lives of orphan children like Sarita. Here’s her story.

Sarita’s mother died when she was very little. She was left in the care of her older sisters and her father. When her father disappeared, the sisters turned her over to an orphanage for girls run by Catholic nuns. Sarita stayed there until one Christmas when one of her sisters came and picked her up for the holiday.

Because of you Sarita has a new home

Sarita never returned to that orphanage. Her two sisters then took turns caring for her and sometimes had others taking care of her. But she would be given back to them because her sisters didn’t pay what they promised.

Passed around, neglected, abused.

Sarita desperately needed a loving place to belong! Fortunately God intervened, and she was brought to the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala where she found a home within the ICC family. Here is how Sarita described what happened.

“[The authorities] took me to this place because I ran away from the house where I was living. One of my sisters left me in the house of a lady that she was going to pay to take care of me. My sister started making the payments, but, little by little, she stopped paying, until one day she never returned. The lady started to mistreat me.”

This Christmas, Sarita has a place to belong within her loving and nurturing family at Los Pinos. Generous ICC family members like you make her belongingness possible.

Sarita still has many challenges ahead as she learns to trust those who provide for her care. That is why it is very important this Christmas that her ICC family continues to provide for the support that she and other children like her need.

And right now, you can participate in a special Christmas Matching Challenge. These funds will help children like Sarita to have the one thing they need the most this Christmas — “a place to belong!”

That’s right. Because every child needs “a place to belong” one of our loyal donors has stepped forward to challenge you to match their gift. You can now double any donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $50,000 is reached.

The reality is that this Christmas, we depend upon the generosity of ICC family members. About 22% of funds needed to support ICC’s mission for children is given in December.

If that doesn’t happen, it restricts our ability to provide a place to belong for children like Sarita. And there are so many more children who need the nurturing care in which ICC specializes.

At this time of year, budgets are stretched taking care of children who have already found their place to belong. So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope!

The world tells orphans, “You don’t belong!” But your gift will tell them

“I care”          “I want you to belong”          “I will help you.”

It was because God loved the world so much that he sent His Son to earth so that we could experience a sense of belonging as part of His eternal family. I pray that because of your support, orphan children will come to know and experience their Heavenly Father’s love as well. For Sarita, and for all the children, this will be the ultimate experience in belonging!

Please, make your gift today!.

On behalf of the children, thank you for blessing them this Christmas!

In His Service,

Rick Fleck

 

 

 

Rick Fleck
President

P.S. To take advantage of year-end-tax benefits please respond before December 31. And to make sure your gift is matched, helping twice as many children in need, please respond as quickly as possible! Thank you!

The Eyes of a Child

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

A close-up photo of the eyes of a young Cambodian girl.

Dear ICC Family,

I was looking into the darkest and deepest blackness I had ever seen in my life. I had seen this once before. These were the eyes of three little children who had just arrived at one of our children’s villages from some tragedy in their lives — a tragedy that left them not only homeless, but absolutely hopeless, which is a far worse situation.

I tried to make conversation with these children but received little response. This moment brought a deep sadness to my heart as I looked into those eyes.

So, I kept a little closer watch on these three children during my work that week. During those few days, I saw those precious children given a home, a bed to sleep in, and most important to them, a family to love them.

As these kids came to understand that they really had a place to call their own, a place that each one of you provided for them, it was amazing to watch the change that took place when I looked into those little eyes for a second time.

Those eyes that were so black just days before, now had a radiant glow and vibrancy to them. I knew from past experiences that these were now the eyes that only result from the gift of love and hope created in these children’s lives. It is a gift beyond measure that you and your gifts of love are providing to them.

Looking back over my work with ICC for over 20 years, I have seen those eyes many times over. I am always filled with amazement to see those eyes of hopelessness change to excitement!

I also know that this change can only take place because of you, the ones who truly care enough to give from your hearts in order to make sure that there are homes of hope for these children of God.

Right now, these homes of hope are being threatened as we enter the most financially challenging time of the year for the children’s food budgets. We are now entering a time when the funding for the children gets so low that we can’t keep up with their basic needs. From May through September, the children’s villages struggle tremendously to make sure that His kids have even the basics of life.

I am asking you today if you would please pray, and then respond to what you feel Jesus wants you to do in order to make sure that His kids can continue to have even the basic of needs in these next few months. Will you please consider doing this for the children today?

Your gifts of loving support will be something that I can assure you will be life-changing for the children in these most difficult times. I believe that Jesus called each one of us for such a time as this when His children need you so much.

Please mark your gifts “Sustaining Life” so that we will know that you have answered the call of Jesus in James 1:27 where He tells us to “take care of the orphans.” By doing this, you will make sure that the children will receive what they need to continue to have this hope in Jesus for their tomorrows.

God bless you all,

The signature of Doug Congleton

 

 

 

Doug Congleton

A close-up photo of the face of young Thai girl.

The Impact of YOUR Support!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Editor’s Note: Whether you sponsor an ICC child or faithfully contribute in other ways please know that you have an incredible impact on the lives of the children.

This can be seen in this letter from Alcyon Fleck that has been pulled from the ICC archives. Thank you for the support you continue to give to a new generation of children!

— January 1990

Dear ICC Family,

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

“Three little brothers were brought to us this last week,” Juana informed me when I visited The Pines.

“They had been abandoned and passed around from place to place wherever someone would keep them, but no one wanted them. The people in that village were poor and already had families of their own to care for.”

“How old are they?” I inquired.

“The oldest one, Gilberto, is ten. Oswaldo is six, and the baby is two.”

Later, as we walked toward the home where the new children were, Juana informed me, “I don’t know how long they have been without a home, but these children were really in pitiful condition. They were sick, malnourished and in rags. The little one is the most frail.”

The house-mother brought the boys to us. Their faces were pinched and pale. They still had the frightened expression of children who have suffered at the hands of strangers. Any new situation fills them with fear.

But the two older boys smiled shyly as we talked with them. The little one was emaciated, barely able to stand, and his big, dark eyes seemed to dominate his face.

Poor little children! I thought. Who knows what they have already suffered. My heart went out to them.

Gilberto as a young boy

Gilberto as a young boy

The house-mother, holding the little one, voiced her concern about their health and promised to give them the best care she could and plenty of TLC. I could see that the baby was already bonding to the mother.

That was eight years ago. The boys have grown sturdy and healthy.

I talked to Gilberto when I visited there a few weeks ago. Cruz told me, “Gilberto is growing into a fine, young man. He is studying at the secondary school and works in the carpentry shop. He is artistic, loves to draw and work with his hands.”

“Gilberto, do you know who your sponsor is?” I asked him.

“Yes, Mommy Fleck. She writes to me, and I have written to her. Her name is Ruth Budd.”

“Yes, I know. She lives near us. She is in a Rest Home now. I suppose you know she is a widow lady. She had an accident some time back and can’t get around by herself. She never had any children, but she has been sponsoring you since you first came to us.”

“You are almost like a son to her.”

“Really!” Gilberto’s eyes brightened. “I wish I could know her!”

“Well, I know she gets lonely and loves to get letters from you.”

“Could you take a letter for me? I’ll write one today.” His face was eager.

“Of course. I know that will make Mrs. Budd happy. I’ll take a picture of you to go with it.”

This last week I took the letter, which I had translated into English, along with the picture, and visited Mrs. Budd.

Her boy had included a paper on which he had printed a special greeting in beautiful scrolled calligraphy. It said. “Felicidades a mi querida madrina.” (Happiness to my dear god-mother).

Our children call their sponsors god-parents. It was a real privilege for me to bring that special letter from the hand of that boy to the dear little lady who has been faithfully supporting and praying for him all these years. Her face beamed as I read it to her.

Dear God-mother,

It is a special pleasure for me to write to you as I have done on other occasions, hope that Jesus Christ can bless you in your home.

The reason for this letter is so that I can be in contact with you. I have learned that you never had a son or daughter, but you have trusted me as a son, and for this I thank you very much.

I know that you are getting up in years but that you always remember and think of me. I also think of you a lot and appreciate the much-needed help you have given me.

Even if you never see me nor I see you, I have the confidence in God that He will help me to continue in His ways, and at last we can know each other in the heavenly mansions…

In my humble heart I feel a deep gratitude that I can’t find words to express. I think of some occasions when I have needed help through hard and tragic experiences…

I thank you and close with much GRATITUDE IN MY HEART.

Attentively, your adopted son,

Gilberto Budd Duque Lopez

The Rest Of The Story

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

After completing his primary and high school education, Gilberto attended the Adventist University in Costa Rica and then returned to Guatemala to continue his studies in architecture.

Gilberto is married now and is a devoted husband and proud father of his two children. He owns a small residential and commercial maintenance company.

According to Gilberto, “although it is not easy, I’m sure that God always has a purpose for everyone, and everything that happens in life develops us in such a way that we can face life with determination.

“And I personally thank God for people with the heart to keep this kind of work going which gives others the opportunity to help in this work and makes it possible to give the attention and care to boys and girls which, for reasons we don’t know about, can’t grow in the heart of their own family.

“But a home like these [ICC] homes can fill in and help for the wellbeing and growth of kids who then have one or many opportunities in their lives.”